DHS To Investigate Extremist Violence In Video Games

By | September 26, 2022

The Department of Homeland Security received close to $700,000 in order to look into extremist groups using video games that encourage youth to become radicalized. This grant falls under the Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention program, which seeks to help and create “innovative solutions” to combat terrorist attacks in the United States. This is everything you need to learn about this Department of Homeland Security grant to study extremist violence in video games.

Violence and terrorism in video games

The Middlebury Institute of International Studies at the Monterey Center on Terrorism, Extremism and Counterterrorism will research the influence of extremists on games. The $699,763 grant will be used to fund the creation of the best practices for analyzing and preventing terrorist acts.

“Game developers in general-from small, independent studios to billion-dollar multinational corporations-have lagged in awareness of how extremists may attempt to exploit their games, and how their communities can be targeted for radicalization,” says the grant summary page.

The program will also create an educational series for developers about detecting and preventing the exploitation of extremists in games. They will also collaborate together with the community manager, designers for multiplayer as well as lore developers and mechanic designers.

Groups of extremists who played in the past

In September 2021 the BBC published a report that extremist groups played games like Minecraft as well as Call of Duty to influence young people. Their methods involve the normalization of radical ideas in conversation and then shifting the conversation into private areas such as Telegram. Furthermore the BBC found that these groups had created specific Roblox or Minecraft maps to resemble Nazi concentration camps to facilitate extremist role-playing.

Additionally, in December 2021 in the year 2021, the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism hosted an panel discussion on radical indoctrination using gaming online. The conference was split into two sections, one exploring the reasons why extremists make use of online video games to educate young people. The second session discussed strategies to counter such situations.

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